Study, study, study. Do you find yourself studying excessively, but your grades aren’t reflecting all the effort you’re putting in? Then maybe you aren’t studying in ways that compliment your learning style. Contrary to popular opinion, textbooks and lectures might not be the only way to prepare yourself for an exam.
What is a learning style and how does it effect me?
Learning style has to do with the different ways that people bring in and absorb new information. Knowing your learning style can help you use your strengths when studying.
Ever wondered why you do well in some classes and not in others? This may depend on your learning style. Whether taking a regular class or studying for a major exam you can greatly increase your productivity by tailoring your study habits to compliment your particular learning style.
You might be a Visual Learner if…
If you never forget a face, but have trouble remembering people’s names then you might be a Visual Learner. If you’d rather watch the movie than read the book, you might be a visual learner. Visual learners process information best when it’s presented to them visually.
Study tips for Visual Learners:
Take detailed notes
Whether you are sitting in class or reading a text book, make sure to take lots of notes. By taking copious amounts of detailed notes you give yourself the ability to review what was covered later at your own pace, and the act of note-taking itself contributes to your absorption of the material.
Watch a video on the topic
Like I said before, if you’d rather watch the movie, then maybe you should. Now this doesn’t mean go watch the new Star Wars movie instead of studying. It means finding videos online that cover what you are studying. Whether you Google a short clip to answer a particular question or you use an online learning resource like Khan Academy, you will find videos to be strong study aids. Note: Make sure your videos come from reputable sources.
Flash cards will help you learn the subject using repetition to ensure you retain the knowledge. There are many apps available if you don’t feel like making your own flash cards. Apps such as Chegg Flashcards and Studyblue allow you to keep score and track your stats so that you know what areas you need to focus on.
You might be an Auditory Learner if…
If you find you enjoy humming aloud or talking to yourself, you might be an Auditory Learner. If you remember words to songs and notice sound effects in movies, then you might be an Auditory learner. This just means that you study best by listening. Auditory Learners tend to perform the best in classes that emphasize lectures and class discussions.
Study tips for Auditory Learners:
Record your lectures
Recording your lectures allows you to listen to them again when trying to study. There are many apps available.
Verbalize what you’ve learned.
In the same way that visual learners learn from writing notes, auditory learners can solidify their learning by verbalizing what they’ve learned. Put it into your own words, this helps you to truly grasp the subject and remember it longer.
Read aloud whenever possible. After reading a chapter, summarize it out loud.
Use Mnemonic Devices
A mnemonic device is a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something. Using a mnemonic device can make remembering dull or difficult to learn material such as numbers, formulas, dates, terminology, or concepts easier and maybe even a little fun.
Work in Groups
When working in a group you can discuss the subject and better absorb the material. You can also quiz each other.
You might be a Tactile/Kinesthetic Learner if…
If you hate using an owner’s manual when you buy a new gadget or reading the instructions to put together IKEA furniture, then you might be a kinesthetic learner. If you tap your feet to music and can’t sit still in lectures, you might be a kinesthetic learner. This means you comprehend information best through hands-on learning. Kinesthetic learners tend to do better in labs than in lectures.
Study Tips for Kinesthetic Learners:
Apply what you’ve learned
If you’re studying from a textbook, you can get frustrated pretty quickly. To combat this frustration and better understand the material you covered, look for practical applications for what you’ve just learned.
Take short study breaks
Rather than forcing yourself to sit and study for long periods, break up your study sessions into 30 minute increments with 5 minute breaks in between to stand up and move around. This can be beneficial to all students, but especially for kinesthetic learners.
Keep your hands busy while studying
Believe it or not, kinesthetic learners study and comprehend information better when their hands are involved. It can be as simple as holding an object, like a stress ball, while studying or typing out your notes.
What to keep in mind
No matter what your predominant learning style may be, it’s important that you keep in mind that it’s just your predominant, not your only learning style. Most of us are a mix of all three. Don’t be afraid to try methods from other learning styles as well. The goal is to find what methods work best for you.
Find Out Your Learning Style
You can find out what your preferred learning style is by taking the assessment found here.
Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator – Ancora Education